Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I’ve been proselytizing about the bloody marys at Clem’s – which I believe to be the best overall in the area -- for a couple of years now. Sadly for Clem's, Peter and Dena were not fully in agreement.
The first thing we all could agree was a major plus is Clem’s method of mixing the other ingredients (the “mud” as they call it there) separately from the tomato juice and then using equal parts mud and juice when mixing. This is owner Clem himself's method and is used to ensure the consistent robustness of the drink. Our bloody marys all had plenty of horseradish, worcestershire, and spice. Big points as well for the size (served in a pint glass) and alcohol content (quite high) relative to the price (relatively low at $7.) in the past, I’ve even asked for mine with LESS alcohol – so that I can have two without falling off the barstool -- and was charged $1 less without my asking for it. Major points awarded for this as well.
It all came down to two factors, the first being the garnishing issue. For me, the lemon wedge, several large olives, pepperoncini and dill pickle spear were exactly right, but Dena and Peter took exception to the absence of celery.
But this is a minor objection. It’s really the second factor that was the deciding factor: Clem’s bloody mary, while solid, classic and well-made, lacks panache and doesn’t have that extra something (fresh tomato juice, a creative garnish or spice, etc) that would elevate it above the common masses. We eventually settled on a 3 ½ tomato rating.
Clem’s * 264 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 * 718. 387. 9617
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I recently found myself at Landmarc in the Time Warner building for lunch this past weekend. Since it was a rainy Saturday and the brunch menu was still available, Dena and I decided to try the bloody mary.
Initial impression - Good presentation. Two olives, yay! Four waffle cut pickle wedges, pint glass and a large celery stalk. It was looking like a good start in the pickled/brined accessory department. The first taste was also promising with a thick texture and plenty of floaty bits of pepper and seasonings. Overall it was not too watery or mild (it required no additional hot sauce). First disappointment: Sweet pickles. This was a major downer, sweet pickles and a bloody mary do not mix well in my book. On the positive side, Dena was impressed with the fresh horseradish as well as the minimal vodka flavor. OK, second disappointment: Narrow cocktail straw. The tiny diameter straw could not handle the spices and floaty bits and became clogged repeatedly.
While the Landmarc bloody mary had a wonderful first impression, a few major (but simply solved) set backs kept the overall rating to a three out of five tomatoes.
Landmarc at Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Cir
Manhattan, New York, NY